Thursday, July 31, 2008

A week later

A week ago, I arrived back in Vancouver, with kitty-cat in tow. So far, I’ve managed to eat out every single day, and have found my comfort food in various ramen noodles and pho. I’m still waiting for the majority of my possessions to arrive from Inuvik, but have received a couple of parcels already through the mail from the cheerful Canada Post man in the mail-van. One thing I absolutely will not miss is carrying cumbersome packages to and from the post office in minus-twenty weather.

Hit Commercial Drive last weekend, and tried to feel like a part of the city in those hours of browsing, lounging, and taking in the various city folk. I imagined myself reliving my high school days of shopping at the funky ethnic shops for clothes for school, trying on beanies and tie-dyed overalls and testing all the strange and different musical instruments from Asia or Africa. I wondered if my appearance and mannerisms betrayed my sense of alienation from that world. Was my Gore-Tex coat no longer standard Westcoast wear? I tried not to look around too much, tried to appear as though I knew where I was going, as though I had been walking that stretch of sidewalk every day. Sometime between the consumption of sushi and gelato, I began to feel fine about this decision to come back.

I’ve found my tree. It’s by a lake that’s in my neighbourhood, smack dab in the middle of the bustling city. This tree looks oddly familiar, like something out of a recurring dream, or out of the cover of a beloved, tattered book. This little birch seemed to have an aura about it, seemed to glow under the fish-belly overcast sky. Standing in front of it, I was struck by a deep sense of peace, of wholeness, of – dare I say it – home.

I’m in the process of planning out the rest of this summer, with visits from various friends, and a couple of roadtrips. I’ve also started attacking my first online course, and just took my first online quiz. Now that the first has been conquered, the rest will be easy. I’m also starting to read something other than textbooks again, starting with a gift from a good friend. It’s a slapstick comedy of a novel, and I’m loving it, and loving myself as I read it.

Here are some more pictures by the lake. Maybe my “Vancouver sniffles” are worth all this greenery, this serenity in the midst of crowds, of city-folk that seem so separate. Maybe we should all just stand by this lake and breathe together.

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